HEROS (Homing Ex-Racehorses Organisation Scheme) are freeze-marking all their retired racehorses to protect them from theft.
Equine security organisation Farmkey will be providing subsidised freeze-marking for the horses at the HEROS centre and also for their re-homed racehorses that are out on loan.
Chief executive Grace Muir said: “A freeze-mark is often the difference between recovering your horse or losing him forever. Many of our horses are rehomed for life, so this service will provide invaluable peace of mind for both us and their new owners.”
The first HEROS horse to have been freeze-marked was Activo, a seven-year-old bay gelding owned by Katherine Ager.
Katherine told H&H: “Activo won three races but retired because he wasn’t that good. I’ve had him since October last year and so far we have just been hacking and schooling, he has never jumped. At the moment we are just getting used to each other.
“HEROS was recommended to me by a friend and as soon as I met Activo I fell in love with him, I rode him out and two weeks later he arrived at my house.
“So far it’s going really well, we do have our ups and downs and sometimes he tests my nerves as he’s full of beans, but I’m really pleased with him.”
Activo’s registration number HR00, which he received in January and now over 20 HEROS horses have been marked.
A spokesman for Farmkey said: “When Grace approached us about marking their ex-racehorses we were happy to offer HEROS a reduced rate and have allocated a series of HR numbers for their horses.”
Grace added: “Although the horses are already micro-chipped we wanted a visual sign to stop theft. We wanted people to be 100% aware that these are HEROS horses, so they are all freeze-marked HR.
Currently there are approximately 30 horses in the centres care and since the charity was established in July 2007 more than 150 horses have been rehomed.